A view of Hawkinson’s catalogue—which contains all of his works from 1986 onward, plus a selection of early works from 1979-1985—shows the myriad opportunities available to artists using the Artifex Press software. In short, any type of information can be related to artworks. Hawkinson, for example, was particularly interested in providing more detail around his materials, so there are searchable categories for works that incorporate such uncommon materials as eggshells and extension cords. There are also often in-depth explanations about these uncommon materials. His work Untitled (Chicken) (1986), for example, made of chicken skin on a wire frame, includes a brief note, which explains that the skin was “carefully kept intact,” a detail that dramatically heightened my sense of the piece’s preciousness. In the notes for Index Finger (1997), we are told that the dozens of red pens and pencils that “make up the innards” of this sculpture of a sliced-off fingertip were those used to make another work, his 35-foot-long scroll Wall Chart of World History from Earliest Times to the Present (1997). These two works are also linked in the “Related Artworks” section beneath each image.
As a scholar, I was extremely impressed with the ways in which information could be accessed in the catalogue. You can pretty much search by any term in a record, so instead of being confined to the organization of a traditional catalogue raisonné (typically arranged according to medium and date), you can additionally sort artworks by exhibitions, publications, locations, catalogue numbers, titles—basically any of the data within a record. This makes them infinitely more searchable and user-friendly.
The most appealing content for me were the videos, which I immediately clicked on upon opening the catalogue. They’re extremely helpful for animating Hawkinson’s kinetic work— still photographs tell such a limited story about pieces like these. The catalogue could have benefitted from more videos, however, and I wish that interviews with the artist had been included, as there are in Artifex’s Chuck Close Paintings 1967-Present catalogue raisonné. One further drawback to the Hawkinson catalogue is the fact that the bibliography does not provide any access to the articles; ideally you would be able to click through to links or PDFs, and read the articles cited.